Food for Thought:
The Slow Food Orange County Newsletter
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Welcome to the February issue of "Food for Thought."

In This Issue
January Potluck
March Potluck
Chef Ann to Speak to SFOC
Annual BBQ Planning Committees
MB Cafe Garden Project
SFOC on Facebook
Time for Lunch Campaign
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First Potluck of 2010!

January Potluck


Slow Food OC Members John and Lesley Cox graciously opened their home on Sunday, January 10th for our first general membership meeting and potluck of the year. The turnout was great-close to 25 people including some brand new members! Do-it-yourselfers John and Lesley impressed everyone with their kitchen craftsmanship, having essentially remodeled their kitchen with their own two hands. Before the meal, Roger and Heather gathered the members in the living room to discuss upcoming events and opportunities for new leadership in our various committees. For those still interested in being on one of the Slow Food OC Board Committees, there is still time to join. E-mail Heather Stoltzfus for more information on available positions.

As usual, the food was divine! An artisanal cheese plate, mushroom and onion torta, lentil salad, rosemary biscuits, avocado and radish salad, homemade apple crisp, and peach cobbler were just some of the delectable items we shared. At the end of the evening, Lesley reminded everyone to take home some of her fabulous Meyer lemons from her backyard. The evening certainly set the tone for what will be a fun, busy and savory year!

 Jan 2010 potluck
March 7th, 4 pm: Potluck & Guest Lecturer talks about "Frankenfood" 
Frankenfood: Dispelling Myths presented by Dr. Anuradha Prakash, Chapman University
Monkey Business Cafe
301 East Amerige Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832

FrankenfoodIn Slow Food circles, genetically modified foods are generally looked down upon - and often for good reason.  Many of us are familiar with stories of corporations suing farmers over patented seeds and developing plants in order to sell the corresponding weed and pest deterrents.  Is it possible that there could also be benefits to GMOs?  Anuradha Prakash, Chair of the Food Science program at Chapman University, will explain the technology behind genetically modified food.  Come discuss the opportunities and challenges, including environmental and socio-political considerations that GM foods present.

March 13th, 9 a.m.: Meet the Renegade Lunch Lady, Chef Ann Cooper
Saturday, March 13th at 9 a.m. 
Environmental Nature Center
1601 East 16th Street, Newport Beach
This event is free! 
Jan 9 2010 MB Garden ProjectChef Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, chef, educator, and enduring advocate for better food for all children. Ann, a relentless voice of reform, wants to see nutritious meals replace the highly processed meals currently served in our nation's schools.  Her educational seminars, like the Slow Food Time for Lunch Campaign, focus on the links between food, family, farming and children's health.  Come learn what you can do to change the way our children eat... one lunch at a time.
Chef Ann's Bio:  A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Ann has been a chef for more than 30 years.  Over the years, Ann's career shifted from primarily cooking to cooking, writing, and public speaking - all advocacy work for a healthier food system. She is the author of four books (e.g., Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children (2006)) and founder of the non-profit Food Family Farming Foundation (F3), which focuses on solutions to the school food crisis.  F3's pivotal project is The Lunch Box - a web portal that provides free and accessible tools, recipes and community connections to support school food reform.  Chef Ann currently resides in Boulder, CO.  For more information about Chef Ann, go to
Get Involved!  Planning Committees forming for the 2nd Annual Bommer Canyon BBQ on June 26th 

May 2009 BBQ KamamuraVolunteers are needed to help organize the 2nd Annual Bommer Canyon BBQ on Saturday, June 26th.  Last year's event was a huge success.  Tickets sold out a month ahead of time and over 160 people enjoyed camaraderie, an inspiring address by A.G. Kawamura (secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture), and an al fresco dinner, sponsored by Whole Foods, and prepared by Executive Chef Thomas Ryan.  The BBQ and the October Simultaneous Suppers are Slow Food OC's main fundraising events.  In order to ensure that this year's BBQ is an even bigger success than last year's, we need your help. 


Please volunteer for one of the committees below:

·         Posters and outreach materials

·         Entertainment

·         Tickets and access

·         Food and serving

·         Wine and drinks

·         Raffle prizes and ticket sales

·         Slow Food message and guest speaker

·         Setup and table coverings

·         Tear down and clean up


Four planning meetings will be held on March 17, April 21, May 19 and June 16th at 6 PM at the Whole Foods in Tustin.  The store is located in The District shopping center off Jamboree at 2847 Park Avenue, Tustin, CA 92782.


If you are interested in volunteering, please send an e-mail to


Monkey Business Kitchen Garden Project Construction is Complete! 
During the first week (Jan. 9th) of construction, eight volunteers installed a wooden fence around the perimeter of the garden.  SF workers labored to dig holes for corner supports and secure them with concrete footings.  The following week (Jan. 16th), twelve volunteers rolled up their sleeves and constructed six raised redwood planters, which required the simultaneous operation of twenty-seven different power tools.  On the third and final Saturday (Jan. 23), nine volunteers filled the planters with garden soil, installed the irrigation system, finished the fencing and planted the plants.  The Hart Community Home boys can now watch strawberries, lettuce, spinach, beets, tomatoes and raspberries grow.  The corner of Lemon and Amerige in Fullteron will never be the same.  If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by, grab a bite and admire the garden.
Slow Food OC extends a special thanks to all of those who helped bring the project to fruition.  These passionate volunteers include:
Steve Widmayer, Fred Tarnay, Roger McErlane, Dave Henry, The Doan family, Chrisi Hughey, Laura Avery, Trisha Ortega, Claudia & Teryl Chapel, Martha Gilbert, Jennifer Fry, Bill Beeman, Joanna Fee,
Lauren and Terry Ng
A complete photo gallery of the MB Café kitchen garden will soon be available for viewing on the Slow Food OC website.  If this project inspires you, please contact Steve at   We will need volunteers to help MB Café maintain the garden to ensure that it remains healthy and productive for years to come.

Week 1: January 9th

 Jan 9 2010 MB Garden ProjectJan 9 2010 MB Garden ProjectJan 9 2010 MB Garden Project 

Week 2: January 16th


Jan 16 MB ProjectJan 16 2010 MB project


 Week 3: January 23rd

Jan 23 2010 MB ProjectJan 16 2010 MB ProjectJan 23 2010 MB project 

Slow Food OC Finds Facebook!

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Slow Food Orange County has a Facebook group.  Be sure to join our group so you can keep up on the latest events, read articles about issues related to Slow Food and join in discussions on any related topics.  You can even start your own discussions if you would like and share any food related news, photos and events via the Group's wall.  Heather Pritchard, the new newsletter co-editor, likes to post recipes, news articles and other items from the plethora of amazing food blogs and news sources that are cropping up all over the web.  Don't miss out!

Time for Lunch
Time for Lunch, Slow Food USA National Campaign
Slow Food USA's national campaign, Time for Lunch, supports renewal and revision of the Child Nutrition Act.  The Act provides funding for school lunches and regulates what 31 million children eat everyday.  Currently, school lunches aren't making the grade as evidenced by the articles below: 
Fast-food Standards for Meat Top Those for School Lunches
Safety of Beef Processing Method Is Questioned
So what does Slow Food USA want to see done?  There are three main initiatives:
Initiative 1: Invest at least $1 billion per year in additional funding, which translates to $1 per lunch--twice the amount currently spent on each child's lunch.
Initiative 2: Increase the nutrition standards for all food sold at school, including the "competitive foods" sold in school vending machines.
Initiative 3: Allocate $10 million per year in mandatory funding for Farm to School programs. Locally spent food dollars create local jobs, and Farm to School grants can also be used to plant school gardens and develop curriculum to teach kids healthy eating habits.
What can you do to support these initiatives?  You can sign the Slow Food USA Petition that urges Congress to support these important changes to the Child Nutrition Act.  Full funding will give schools the resources to improve school lunch, buy directly from local farms and help America's children learn to stay healthy. The health of our children is the health of the nation.
Volunteers Needed to Host Future Potluck Events
Slow Food Orange County has lots of great upcoming events planned, but we don't always have a space for them!  Would you be willing to open your home for a potluck this year?  Holding our potlucks in different locations allows us to get to know new people and hold events in all parts of the county.  If you have a home that is comfortable for a large group (up to 50 people) and would like to have a bunch of like-minded people bring delicious food and conversation to your doorstep, please contact Heather Stoltzfus at  We depend on the participation of our members to keep our chapter going strong.

Become a Member

We invite you to join the Slow Food movement!  Slow Food OC is working hard to preserve and protect local foods and food traditions.  Our convivium plans events and programs in places across OrangeCounty-anywhere from community gardens, taste education dinners, and farm tours-join the network and become active in planning and participating in these diverse initiatives. 

Click here for Benefits of Membership. Send us an email if you have any questions.